Nyjer Morgan, outfielder and lightning rod of the Milwaukee Brewers, was at it again Wednesday afternoon.
Less than 24 hours after breaking through an outfield gate to make a spectacular catch, Morgan had another encounter near the wall at Great American Ballpark. This one involved a Cincinnati Reds fan.
Morgan reached into the crowd while pursuing a foul ball along the right-field line during the ninth inning of Milwaukee’s 8-4 victory. At the same time, a Reds fan clasped onto Morgan’s glove. Neither caught the ball. As Morgan stepped away, he gave the fan a little push with his glove hand.
“Just gave him a little get-off-me, because he was on my arm,” Morgan explained later. “Nothing major, but everybody might blow it up.”
It would be too strong to say Morgan shoved the fan. But they were entangled for a brief moment, after which they exchanged words. First base umpire Marty Foster intervened to separate the parties.
“Just one of those plays where I thought I could have had the ball,” Morgan said. “Their fans (were) helping out their team. You try to make a play on it, too. It’s one of those things: When you go into the stands, (stuff) like that happens.”
Morgan said the fan was “wearing me out” verbally after the incident but declined to repeat what was said.
“Nothing major,” he said. “He was doing his part, being a fan, trying to help his team. I’ve heard worse. (It was) standard stuff.”
After the final out, Morgan glared toward fans along the foul line and waved at them dismissively. They booed in return.
“He was saying some nasty stuff, so I just gave him the fan-off, like, ‘Whatever,’” Morgan said, in reference to the final out. “That’s what the home fans are supposed to do, take the ball away from the opposing team. It’s fair game once the ball’s in the stands.
“I understand the game. I’m a fan, too. I would have done the same thing.”